The F word

beach birthday
Look at all these 50+ and fabulous ladies!

Yes, I said the f word. Fifty. To some, this F word might offend them as much as that other F word, but it shouldn’t. Fifty can be fabulous. I should know, as I regularly refer to myself as the poster child of 50+ fabulous!

Among many other reasons, it’s that age when you can do whatever you want because you now fall under the category of ‘respect your elders’. Interesting because I don’t feel like an elder.

Apparently I don’t look like one either because people regularly ask me how to become 50+fab if you were not born that way. So I’m here today to tell you how to do it; how to embrace 50 rather than be offended by it. You might not all be near or past this age range yet, but some day you will be. This is for you too!

Get great gear. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS: function before fashion. Let me explain that with a rather embarrassing tale.

I bought a cute little and I mean little top wit spaghetti straps. In my defense, the top had NIKE emblazoned across the front and I bought it in legitimate running store. Do not ask me how I forgot that my breasts should not EVER be in a tube top even if it has spaghetti straps. Anyway, I had the top on and headed out for a run. Less than a mile into my run, I felt a bit strange. I paid that feeling no attention and kept running. I noticed that people were blowing their horns in cars and driving a bit crazy. Again, I kept running. Only after about a mile I looked down and realized that my breasts had come COMPLETELY out of my top. Yes, that is correct. I was literally running half naked. I put myself back into my top, turned around, and walked home holding my top up.

last year birthday run
Embracing 50. It IS fabulous!

It was my fault. I did not pay attention to function. Yes, it was a very cute top and I could have worn it while gardening, maybe. I definitely should not have gone running in it.

That also goes for shoes. Get fitted. Do not simply buy the same shoes your friends wear or the ones your daughter left in the bottom of her closet. I do not care that she used to be a runner or that she is a runner. Get the shoes that are recommended for you by a professional.

Don’t try to go back in history. Start from where you are right now. What you did in high school or college may not apply here, so don’t hurt yourself. Leave your pride at the door.

Let the youngsters do their thing. They may be faster, stronger, bendier, and who knows what else. You do your own thing and soon they will want to be just like you.

Never whine. Yes, it hurts, yes it may be difficult. The goal is to get through the workout and drink the appropriate beverage afterwards.

50 and fab
Clearly like minded!

Dress appropriately. Make sure all of your โ€˜stuffโ€™ is covered. If you need them, wear longer shorts, shirts, or skirts. I say this not only for modestyโ€™s sake, but chafing is not fun. It is quite painful, so cover where and when necessary.

skirt front
See. She looks classy, because the outfit fits!

Be classy. After running so get dressed before running errands. Or do what I do, put on a cute little dress on over your running clothes. Skirt Sports has great ones. Be realistic. If you now wear a larger size, get it. No one has to know, but they will guess something if you force your hips into running shorts a couple sizes too small.

Cross train. Try different activities yoga, cross fit, swimming, or biking are great. I heard pole dancing is great as well, but I have not been bold enough to try it.

Connect with like-minded people. This makes running fun. You can compare notes, ask questions, and make running dates.

Eliminate negative thoughts. I am not a bendy person. In yoga I am not the one who can bend over backwards while wrapping her leg around her head and I am perfectly okay with that. Maybe I would have been concerned about that 30 years ago, but now I can find better uses of my time in child’s pose while quietly wishing the bendy person would fall. Not really, but you get my drift, don’t you?


So tell me Salty Readers, have I made the F word less scary for you? Did I miss any tips for making 50+ fabulous?

I eat miles for breakfast, or occasionally for a snack later in the day. Self proclaimed 50+ and fabulous poster child, US Army vet, college professor, avid runner, yoga enthusiast, guest columnist, and I've used Olay since I was 17 so they should use me in at least one of their ads!

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  1. Love this! I will be one of the F words next year….40! My goal is to be the 65 year-old chick on the bike during ironman and have people pass me going…damn, she’s 65 and doing this!

    1. Thanks and I hear ya! I said I was running my next marathon at age 70. Well, I will not be 70 in October for the Marine Corps marathon. I still would love to run one at 70 just because I can.

  2. Yes – fabulous 50+ – your are my people. You are so right about having quality gear – as I have aged (I do still remember 50) I have spent more on quality running clothes and shoes than I do on any other portion of my wardrobe – and I’m a fairly frugal person. It really is important to get the best from your workouts and running time.

  3. That anecdote about the top had me laughing so hard! Hilarious! I will now NEVER run in spaghetti straps. EVER! Ha!

    I agree with Clove! This is great advice for us almost-40s too (I’m 6 months ahead of Clove, for the record). Although, I hate cross-training and I’m not going to do it until I HAVE too :)

    1. Thanks. The top episode is funny to me now that it has been a few years. For the first few days afterwards people would ask me if I ran down Rifle Range Rd which is where the offense happened. I would say yes and then PRAY that they did not see me. Then I realized that no one saw my face!

  4. I LOVE this post, as much as I love following your positive and empowering posts on Facebook.

    Now, to answer your question, I am a “young-in” here offering one addition to the list – since you asked. Gratitude!

    You see, I am only approaching the “lower case ‘f'” or 40. And even that’s not for two more years. But I recently noticed some lines on my face – thank you, airport bathroom lighting – and thought “hmmm … we need to take some action on this.”

    Not being a Botox girl (I’m not a judger, but that’s not the direction for me), I went out and bought my first little tube of Neutrogena anti-wrinkle cream, feeling like an old woman of the hills. But standing in that little aisle at Target, a very simple thought struck me:

    I’m so lucky to have made it far enough to need wrinkle cream.

    You make 50 fab every day – thank you so much for your voice!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. And I agree, gratitude is a great one to add to the list. I am grateful every day for my health and the love of my family and friends. There is no shame in striving to be the best you can be whether that means wrinkle cream or for me hair dye. It is all just the packaging. What matters is what is inside.